History helping Scott Dixon's title quest
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Kiwi Indycar ace Scott Dixon heads to this weekend's round at Mid-Ohio clinging to a three-point championship lead but with history on his side.
A lot of history.
The 37-year-old has dominated the road course venue with five career wins since 2007. On top of that the Chip Ganassi driver has often relied on strong finishes in the back end of the championship in order to claim his four series titles.
Dixon made a strong start by getting a podium finish at the season-opening event on the streets of St Petersburg and has never dropped out of the top four in the standings despite his team having to adjust to the Honda engine and aero kit they are using this year.
"It's always really positive to be leading at this stage, and honestly, it isn't something that's happened to me a lot in my career," Dixon told RACER magazine. "We're always positive about our chances, but looking at how this season started, I think we've surprised ourselves a little bit at how well it's gone.
"Especially having a big thing to deal with in switching to Honda. Getting that podium at St. Pete was good for us with the new engine and learning the Honda aero kit, which was also new to us. And it's not like everything has gone perfect this year, so there's a lot we can improve before the season's over."
Dixon grabbed his 41st career race win in Iowa to be one-off third-placed Michael Andretti in the all-time wins list but has struggled in the last two races to see his championship lead evaporate to just three points.
"I typically try not to focus on the 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' scenarios, but I can see how our lead might be bigger if some things had gone differently - but I imagine it's the same for every driver," he said. "I'm not saying we deserve anything more than what we've gotten, but you can look at Indy and see we had a top-five car before the crash.
"We hurt ourselves on strategy at Long Beach, I just got caught up with Will [Power] at Toronto which didn't help either of us, and there are other races where we left points on the table unnecessarily.
"Points are tight right now, and there aren't many races left, so we can't afford any additional disappointments."